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posted: 9/4/2012 5:06 AM

Number of unemployed in France passes 3 million

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  • The French national flag flies atop the National Assembly building in Paris, France. Europe's economy is edging toward a recession as budget cuts from Spain to Ireland undermine consumer spending and company investment just as global demand shows signs of cooling.

      The French national flag flies atop the National Assembly building in Paris, France. Europe's economy is edging toward a recession as budget cuts from Spain to Ireland undermine consumer spending and company investment just as global demand shows signs of cooling.
    Bloomberg News

 
Associated Press

PARIS -- The number of French unemployed has broken through the 3 million barrier, the country's leaders say.

The latest total adds pressure on President Francois Hollande, whose administration is under attack for doing not doing enough to fix the economy. France's unemployment rate is currently 10 percent.

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Breaking the 3 million mark carries more symbolic importance than economic but it was covered extensively in the French media over the weekend. According to Le Figaro newspaper, last time the 3-million threshold was crossed was in 1999.

Employment Minister Michel Sapin confirmed the total on French radio on Sunday and warned that the numbers would likely get worse. Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault called the numbers "very violent". The government announced last week that it had counted more than 2.9 million unemployed people in July, so the threshold was expected to be passed in August.

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